It’s been one whole year since we formed and what an amazing year it has been . From our hesitant start to fill a hole in the community, we have gone from strength to strength. None of us could have predicted that we would finish our first year in existence by running a successful festival for the entire community! After all, all we wanted to do was to do art, together.
Let’s have a quick overview of what we have achieved in the last 12 months
- Formed in late June 2017 after putting the word out on ABC Radio, local paper ad, and Facebook
- Started meeting for art practice weekly at Feathers Cafe
- Had our first grant success in August with council funding to pay incorporation fees
- During August, September we applied for a CASP, a RAF, and a FRRR grant
- During October Applied for TeamUp! grant
- Became very visible about disability issues and art in our community in various meetings
- Announced in November the Articulate Festival would be happening in June 2018 after successful grant
- December brought the announcements of the successful CASP and RAF grants for 2018
- Allison went to REMIX in December and mixed with art, culture, and technology types
- January brought the start of Going Pro 2018! Our professional skills program
- We moved into the shire hall in January for our creative practice
- February was quiet after our training artist had to pull out
- March was busy again with meeting our new council GM and working hard on getting Articulate Festival organised
- We also Incorporated in March!
- In April we organised our art workshops at Pilliga Pottery with Dr Riona Twomey-Tindal
- May saw us announce we were successful in our FundAbility and we ill be opening a creative retail SPACE!
- Art workshops were sold out in May and proved to be a lovely weekend for all involved.
- We became a registered charity in June
- We met with Create NSW and Accessible Arts in June who came to Coonabarabran!
- We ran a very successful Articulate Festival in June
In our first year we had some incredible wins. We have doubled our membership. Our members have done well at local shows. We think we are better known in the community now. In our first year we have also had some scrapes – we have had members in hospital, a member has moved away, opposition and discrimination from local groups, and struggled for support in some areas, Though we can say, without a shadow of a doubt, we have done great things in 12 months and have continuing big plans for year two!
Thank you to everyone who have helped and supported us in our first year. Special huge THANK YOUs to Brenda Baker of AbilityLinks who was there from day one for us; Fiona Corme from Feathers Cafe who was the perfect example of how to be inclusive and treated us like anyone else that would want to make art in her business premises; Paris Norton, local artist and Orana Arts, who is invariably supportive and enthusiastic about what we are trying to achieve; Kodi Brady, Councillor and the best example of someone who would do anything for our community I have ever met; and Nikela Stafford of Yowie and Friends, a fellow doer, who gets excited when we talk about our ideas.